Martin Streicher is the Editor-in-Chief of Linux Magazine has published beginners tutorial to automate common task.
A shell script saves both time and typing job. The Web is full of helpful scripts that others have created for many purposes (here is my own shell scripts collection).
From the article:
Discover how shell scripts can mechanize virtually any personal or system task. Scripts can monitor, archive, update, report, upload, and download. Indeed, no job is too small or too great for a script. Here's an introduction.
If you peer over a longtime UNIX user's shoulder while he or she works, you might be mesmerized by the strange incantations being murmured at the command line. If you've read any of the previous articles in the Speaking UNIX series (see Resources), at least some of the mystical runes being typed -- such as tilde (~), pipe (|), variables, and redirection (< and >) -- will look familiar. You might also recognize certain UNIX command names and combinations, or realize when an alias is being used as a sorcerer's shorthand.
Still, other command-line conjurations might elude you, because it's typical for an experienced UNIX user to amass a large arsenal of small, highly specialized spells in the form of shell scripts to simplify or automate oft-repeated tasks. Rather than type and re-type a (potentially) complex series of commands to accomplish a chore, a shell script mechanizes the work.